Barack Obama and Eric Holder are presiding over a dangerously politicized Department of Justice. Most people don’t follow the news closely enough to understand what Obama and Holder have done to the Department, but by rights this should be a major campaign issue. Today Byron York puts the spotlight on the feds’ war against the State of Arizona. The Obama administration has opened several fronts in that war: a lawsuit that tries to force Arizona to stop enforcing the immigration laws; another case against the Maricopa Community College system that alleges the system illegally requires job seekers to produce a green card; and a third lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office which accuses that office of civil rights violations.
The Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, is viewed as a hero by most in Arizona and many more around the country. He is fighting back against Eric Holder’s attempt to gut law enforcement in Arizona. York reports that his lawyers have now obtained evidence that just six months before Holder filed his case against the Sheriff’s Office alleging discrimination, “in September 2008, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, did its own investigation of Arpaio’s office — and gave it a clean bill of health.”
That report’s key conclusion was: “”The OI and DRO supervisors consider the conduct and performance of the MCSO … officers to be professional and meeting the requirement of the MOA.” (Byron provides a translation.) Also, this:
ICE investigators also interviewed top federal officials involved in illegal immigrant cases in Arizona. They found an “excellent” working relationship between the sheriff’s office and the feds. ICE talked as well to federal prosecutors in Phoenix, who described the cases brought by Maricopa County as “high quality.”
So, what changed that demanded a new investigation just weeks after Eric Holder became Attorney General? Arpaio’s lawyers have also discovered an email dated just after DOJ’s investigation was announced, “from an ICE employee to John P. Torres, then the acting assistant secretary of ICE. “Did you see this?” the e-mail said, attaching a news report on the investigation. “Yes,” Torres responded a few minutes later. “Interesting politics at play.”
Interesting politics, indeed. Voters may well wonder why the Obama administration believes it is the proper role of the federal government to impede law enforcement by the states.